CURE Childhood Cancer To Hold First Annual ‘Catie’s Gathering’ Fundraiser in Moultrie, Ga.

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(MOULTRIE, Ga.) CURE Childhood Cancer, the only organization providing financial and emotional support to local children and families while raising funds to further critical research specifically for pediatric oncology, is holding a Catie’s Gathering dinner and auction at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5, at Lily Pond Farm, 271 Dorminey Rd., Moultrie, Ga.

Catie’s Gathering is an inspiring event benefiting Catie’s Fund of CURE Childhood Cancer. The dinner features unique, individually-themed table decorations, a silent auction, a live auction, and a moving program of speakers. Since its inception, Catie’s Gathering has grown from one to five separate events in South Georgia. To date, Catie’s Fund has raised more than $2.8 million. This is the first Catie’s Gathering in Moultrie.

“The annual Catie’s Gathering events reveal just how loving and generous the community is of South Georgia. This started as a single event, and now CURE holds up to five in the region,” said Mandy Garola, vice president of CURE in South Georgia. “Our community wants more opportunities like these to support our mission to end childhood cancer. We’re so grateful to our donors, sponsors and volunteers who work to make these gatherings successful.”

The funds raised are invested in CURE’s research initiatives – specifically the Precision Medicine Program, which focuses on individualized treatments based on each child’s genetic makeup. The funds also offer general support to patients and their families fighting childhood cancer.

Sponsors of Catie’s Gathering Moultrie include Ameris Bank, Procom Sales, Lasseter Motors, Judy and Mark Mobley, South GA Crop Insurance Inc, Stone’s Home Center, Amber and Chip Sumner, and Carolyn and Stan Sumner. In-kind sponsors include Albany Beverage Company, Gay’s Food, Inc. and Lily Pond Farm.

People interested in supporting the event can participate in the online auction and make donations at CGMoultrie2022.givesmart.com.

CURE Childhood Cancer is working for a cure by funding research exclusively for childhood cancer and supporting families affected by the disease. Childhood cancers differ from adult cancers in the way they grow and spread, how they are treated, and how they respond to treatment. Every year, more than 17,000 children in the United States are diagnosed with cancer, and incidence rates are increasing every year. Despite cancer being the leading cause of death by disease in children, only six cancer drugs have been developed and approved specifically for children in the last 25 years.

ABOUT CURE CHILDHOOD CANCER
Founded in 1975, CURE Childhood Cancer is dedicated to conquering childhood cancer through funding targeted research while supporting patients and their families. With cancer as the second leading cause of death in children, CURE has dedicated more than $38MM to specific research projects aimed at curing cancers that affect children. CURE is headquartered in Atlanta and has an active staff operating throughout the greater Savannah area. It is the only organization funding pediatric cancer research and providing this level of financial and emotional support to local children and families across Georgia and parts of South Carolina. For more information, visit www.curechildhoodcancer.org.

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Cradduck
Managing Partner, Cecilia Russo Marketing
cynthia@crussomarketing.com
912.856.9075

CURE Childhood Cancer Partners with Sommers Oil Company and Shell Gasoline for ‘The Giving Pump’ Charity Event

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Local gas stations offer consumers the opportunity to fill their tanks while supporting the critical mission of ending childhood cancer

(SAVANNAH, Ga.) CURE Childhood Cancer, the only organization providing financial and emotional support to local children and families while raising funds to further critical research specifically for pediatric oncology, is the charity of choice for Shell gasoline stations across the region during this year’s Giving Pump initiative.

The Giving Pump, a three-month promotion through Oct. 31, is part of Shell Oil Company’s nationwide Force for Good campaign that raises awareness and funds for nonprofit organizations by allocating a portion of sales to their cause. Locally owned and operated Sommers Oil Company was the driving force to bring this promotion to the Lowcountry and South Georgia area and chose CURE Childhood Cancer as the beneficiary.

Cory Sommers, the Vice President of Sales & Marketing of Sommers Oil Company, said, “It is so important to support our friends and neighbors who are going through a crisis. A cancer diagnosis for a little one seems like one of the biggest crises a family could face, and CURE is the organization that is there to help them – with rent, food and even gas. I’m proud we chose CURE Childhood Cancer as the organization to benefit from the Giving Pump and I trust that our customers will want to support their mission too.”

Last year, with only seven pumps participating, the promotion raised nearly $4,000 in the Savannah area. This year, the program has expanded to more than 40 sites in Ga. and South Carolina.

Ga. Giving Pumps can be found at Shell stations in Brunswick, Eatonton, Midway, Metter, Pooler, Riceboro, Rincon, Richmond Hill and Savannah. Participating S.C. Giving Pump Shell stations can be found in Aiken, Beaufort, Bluffton, Columbia, Elgin, Hardeeville, Hilton Head, Johnston, Lexington, Moncks Corner, Ridgeland, Summerville, Swansea and Walterboro.

“We appreciate all the participating Shell stations and everyone who fills up for CURE,” said Mandy Garola, Vice President of CURE in South Ga. “The funds raised will support pediatric oncology patients and their families right here in our community, as well as research that is critical for fighting childhood cancer. We believe a cure can be found in our lifetime, and the awareness and funds raised by The Giving Pump are invaluable to this effort.”

CURE Childhood Cancer is working for a cure by funding research exclusively for childhood cancer and supporting families affected by the disease. Childhood cancers differ from adult cancers in the way they grow and spread, how they are treated, and how they respond to treatment. Every year, more than 17,000 children in the United States are diagnosed with cancer, and incidence rates are increasing every year. Despite cancer being the leading cause of death by disease in children, only six cancer drugs have been developed and approved specifically for children in the last 25 years. CURE is on a mission to change this.

Shell launched The Giving Pump campaign at stations across the U.S. as part of its Force For Good initiative to drive positive change in local communities by giving back. Since launching Force For Good, Shell has highlighted the impact its wholesalers have in the communities in which they operate, going beyond fuel quality and loyalty, to help raise millions of dollars nationwide.

For more information on Sommers Oil Company, visit www.sommersoil.com. For more information on The Giving Pump campaign and to find a participating gas station near you, visit https://www.shell.us/motorist/together-we-are-a-force-for-good/fill-up-for-a-good-cause-at-the-giving-pump.html.

ABOUT CURE CHILDHOOD CANCER
Founded in 1975, CURE Childhood Cancer is dedicated to conquering childhood cancer through funding targeted research while supporting patients and their families. With cancer as the second leading cause of death in children, CURE has dedicated more than $38MM to specific research projects aimed at curing cancers that affect children. CURE is headquartered in Atlanta and has an active staff operating throughout the greater Savannah area. It is the only organization funding pediatric cancer research and providing this level of financial and emotional support to local children and families across Georgia and parts of South Carolina. For more information, visit www.curechildhoodcancer.org.

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Cradduck
Managing Partner, Cecilia Russo Marketing
cynthia@crussomarketing.com
912.856.9075

350-Mile Bike Ride to Raise Funds and Commemorate the 60th Anniversary of Paul Anderson Youth Home

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The 17th annual five-day ride in Florida symbolizes the commitment these young men have to their physical, mental, and spiritual growth

(SOUTHEAST GEORGIA/CENTRAL FLORIDA) PAYH, a fully accredited and licensed program offering a second chance to young men in crisis, continues its 60th-anniversary celebration with the 17th Annual Bike Ride. Over the course of five days, July 18-22, five young men from the Home will travel over 350 miles by bicycle on routes along the eastern coastline of central Florida, with a home base in Flagler Beach.

The event commemorates a foundational moment in the history of the Paul Anderson Youth Home. At its founding in 1961, the former Olympic gold-medal winner Paul Anderson hopped on a bicycle and rode from Vidalia, Ga., 1,200 miles to Omaha, Neb. He did this for the same reasons the five boys do it today, to raise funds and awareness of the mission to give troubled young men a second chance through Christ. Now 60 years later, the Paul Anderson Youth Home celebrates more than 1,400 lives changed through a process of recovery, restoration, and redemption.

“This bike ride continues to be one of the Home’s greatest traditions,” said Glenda Anderson Leonard, Co-Founder & President of the Paul Anderson Youth Home. “It is so inspiring to see these young men train, set goals, and then have the satisfaction of reaching them.”

Each rider strives to overcome emotional problems, bad decisions and spiritual challenges. This is symbolized in the physical fortitude to travel such distances. Anderson, a world-class athlete, stressed physical fitness as one component of honoring God. (The endurance needed to achieve these feats honors his lessons of how keeping your body physically fit is as important as exercising the mind, filling it with positivity and prayer.)

“Paul was extremely focused on Jesus Christ, physical fitness, and prioritized it in his life. These young men are honoring his legacy by taking on such a challenging week of cycling long distances,” said Anderson Leonard. “Our hope is that this ride instills self-confidence and Christian character into their everyday lives.”

This year’s goal is to raise $145,500, which will allow PAYH to effectively carry out its mission of helping troubled youth effectively. Supporters can learn more about each rider’s story, how to contribute, or become a part of the PAYH family at payhbikeride.com.

To learn more about the Paul Anderson Youth Home and family resources, visit payh.org.

ABOUT PAUL ANDERSON YOUTH HOME
Founded in 1961 by weightlifting world champion and Olympic gold medalist Paul Anderson and his wife, Glenda, the Paul Anderson Youth Home (PAYH) is a Christian residential program, with an on-campus school for young men between the ages of 16 and 21 struggling in the areas of behavioral problems, and issues of discipline, anger, and depression. PAYH is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). In addition to counseling and character development, PAYH offers an accelerated learning program enabling residents to graduate with a high school diploma and technical certifications. To date, over 1,400 young men have attended the program. The Home is located at 1603 McIntosh St. in Vidalia, GA. To learn more about PAYH, call (912) 537-7237 or visit www.payh.org.

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Cradduck
Cecilia Russo Marketing
cynthia@crussomarketing.com
912-856-9075

16th Annual Paul Anderson Youth Home Bike Ride Held in Paul Anderson’s Hometown of Toccoa, Ga.

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Paul Anderson Youth Home Bike Ride Vidalia Georgia
16th Annual Paul Anderson Youth Home Bike Ride participants and support staff pose for a group photo before the start of the 300-mile trek beginning in Toccoa, Ga.

16th Annual Paul Anderson Youth Home Bike Ride Held in Paul Anderson’s Hometown of Toccoa, Ga.

The 300-mile Journey Symbolizes the Mental, Physical and Spiritual Advancement Made by the More Than 1,400 PAYH Graduates Over the Past 60 Years.

(VIDALIA, Ga./TOCCOA, Ga.) Paul Anderson Youth Home, a fully accredited and licensed home offering a second chance to young men in crisis, began its 60th-anniversary celebration this year with its 16th annual Bike Ride. Over the course of five days, five residents of the home traveled a total of more than 300 miles by bicycle on routes through and around Paul Anderson’s hometown of Toccoa, Georgia, 90 miles northeast of Atlanta.

The event is part fundraiser, and donations to sponsor riders can still be made at payhbikeride.com. These young men rode in the rural northeast of the state, passing into South Carolina, and traveling around Tallulah Gorge State Park, the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest, and small Georgia towns Wiley, Lula and Lakemont.

Paul Anderson Youth Home Bike Ride Participants Vidalia Georgia
Paul Anderson Bike Ride Participants Prepare for Ride Near Bike Trailer

The event also recalled and commemorated a foundational moment in the history of Paul Anderson Youth Home. At its founding in 1961, the former Olympic gold-medal winner Anderson hopped on a bicycle and rode from Vidalia, Georgia, 1,200 miles to Omaha, Nebraska. He did this for the same reasons the five boys did it this year, to raise funds and raise awareness of the mission to give troubled young men a second chance through Christ. Now 60 years later, the Paul Anderson Youth Home celebrates more than 1,400 lives changed through a process of recovery, restoration, and redemption.

Paul Anderson Bike Ride Participants Vidalia Georgia
Paul Anderson Bike Ride Participants Prepare for Another Day on the Road

“It is only fitting that we held this year’s ride in Paul’s hometown of Toccoa, Ga. as we continue to commemorate that original ride,” said Glenda Anderson, co-founder of PAYH. “Our prayer is that this is a transformative experience for each of the five young men. This ride is their chance to demonstrate how far they’ve come physically, mentally, and spiritually – and to prove to themselves that with hard work, they can do anything.”

Since the riders are students of PAYH, each young man’s struggle to overcome emotional problems, bad decisions, and spiritual challenges is symbolized in the physical fortitude to travel such distances. Anderson, a world-class athlete, stressed physical fitness as one component of honoring God. The endurance needed to achieve these distances, in turn, honors his lessons of how exercising the body is as important as exercising the mind, filling it with positivity and prayer.

To learn more about Paul Anderson Youth Home and family resources, visit payh.org.

ABOUT PAUL ANDERSON YOUTH HOME
Founded in 1961 by weightlifting world champion and Olympic gold medalist Paul Anderson and his wife, Glenda, the Paul Anderson Youth Home (PAYH) is a Christian residential program and on-campus school for young men between the ages of 16 and 21 struggling with behavioral problems and issues of discipline, anger and depression. PAYH is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). In addition to counseling and character development, PAYH offers an accelerated learning program enabling residents to graduate with a high school diploma and technical certifications. To date, over 1,400 young men have attended the program. The Home is located at 1603 McIntosh St. in Vidalia, GA. To learn more about PAYH, call (912) 537-7237 or visit http://www.payh.org.

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Cradduck
Cecilia Russo Marketing
cynthia@crussomarketing.com
912-856-9075

United Way of the Coastal Empire Distributes Over $300,000 to Provide Relief

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UNITED WAY OF THE COASTAL EMPIRE DISTRIBUTES OVER $300,000 TO PROVIDE RELIEF

SAVANNAH, GA (May 15, 2020) – Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, United Way of the Coastal Empire has distributed $318,050 of the COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund, helping 787 friends and neighbors in Bryan, Chatham, Effingham, and Liberty Counties to date. The greatest needs have been for food and housing. With partner agencies most directly addressing food insecurity, housing then accounts for 84 percent of the fund distribution to date.

United Way of the Coastal Empire
United Way of the Coastal Empire

So far, United Way has received more than $550,000 in donations since the pandemic began. “We asked for our community’s support, and you responded, demonstrating great generosity and sincere concern for our neighbors experiencing the most severe impacts. For that, we thank you!” said United Way Board Chair Larry Silbermann, Vice President and General Manager of WTOC-TV.

Every dollar of this fund is being distributed to help individuals and families retain stable housing by assisting with rent, mortgage, and utility payments when grace periods are not offered and to provide financial assistance for additional critical needs such as medical expenses and child care. Additionally, we are providing emergency funding to United Way’s partner agencies with a demonstrated increase in demand for services due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We realize there is more to be done,” added Brynn Grant, President and CEO of United Way of the Coastal Empire. “In our four-county region, nearly 120,000 individuals and families were living paycheck to paycheck with no reserves even before the pandemic. Many of these hard-working individuals had two or three jobs to make ends meet. They make more than the Federal Poverty Level, but not enough to cover a bare-bones household budget. The cost of living outpaces their earning ability. And now, many have lost some or all of their income. Our goal is to help prevent those most at risk from falling into homelessness so they are healthier, safer, and more likely to be able to step back into employment and thrive again when this crisis passes.”

 Additional fund distributions have included:

  • $26,000 grant to the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System to purchase 115 Chromebooks for students in schools with the highest levels of poverty to help bridge the technology gap that limits access to learning, and
  • $12,500 in awards to United Way partner agencies in support of increased emergency food and shelter costs, case management and translation services, technology to provide remote crisis counseling, and increased health and safety personnel for a youth summer program.

 Any funds remaining after the pandemic will be allocated to the United Way’s general emergency relief fund.  The emergency relief fund allows the organization to respond immediately to critical, emerging needs like those surrounding a hurricane or natural disaster.

Through the United Way 211 helpline and its community service center in Bryan, Effingham, and Liberty Counties, United Way has been connecting residents with resources that can help them through struggles related to COVID-19. Since March 24, the organization has received more than 24,500 calls – 20 times the amount of calls from the prior month.  

To assist as many callers as possible, United Way expanded its 211 call center hours, cross-trained its staff, and partnered with nearly 20 volunteers from United Way funded agencies to help process requests for assistance. The call center is open Monday through Friday, from 8:30 am to 5 pm.  

 To give, visit uwce.org or text UWCOVID19 to 41444. 

 For more information, visit www.uwce.org.

About United Way of the Coastal Empire

The mission of United Way of the Coastal Empire is to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities.  

United Way conducts an annual fundraising campaign and invests donor contributions in programs and services within three impact areas: Education, Financial Stability, and Health. United Way serves Bryan, Chatham, Effingham, and Liberty Counties.

United Way is a volunteer-driven organization that involves hundreds of community leaders, professionals, and other volunteers in every aspect of our business, including fundraising, marketing, and funding decisions, to ensure that donors’ donations are truly making a difference.

Thanks to the Herschel V. Jenkins Trust Fund and other income, which covers almost all administrative and fundraising costs, donor contributions go to help people in need.  

For more information, please visit uwce.org.

WTOC DAY OF GIVING RAISED $209,000 BENEFITING UNITED WAY COVID-19 RAPID RESPONSE FUND

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WTOC DAY OF GIVING RAISED $209,000 BENEFITING UNITED WAY COVID-19 RAPID RESPONSE FUND

SAVANNAH, GA (April 30, 2020)WTOC-TV put out a call to action, and the Coastal Empire responded in a big way. Thanks to the generosity of more than 350 individuals and companies, WTOC Day of Giving virtual telethon raised $209,000 for United Way of the Coastal Empire’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund. While phone lines are now closed, donations can still be made by visiting uwce.org.

United Way of the Coastal Empire, Day of Giving
United Way of the Coastal Empire, Day of Giving

 United Way COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund will be used to:

  1. Help families and individuals retain stable housing by assisting with rent, mortgage, and utility payments when grace periods are not offered and to provide financial assistance for additional critical needs such as medical expenses and child care. 
  2. Provide emergency funding to United Way’s partner agencies with a demonstrated increase in demand for services due to COVID-19 pandemic.

 “On any given day, United Way is about helping people in need and investing in high-performing non-profit organizations,” said Vice President and General Manager of WTOC-TV and United Way Chairman of the Board, Larry Silbermann. “WTOC is proud to be able to lend a hand and provide resources to support our community in such a critical time. We are also grateful for every single person who made a donation during this virtual telethon and extended their hands to help others in need.” 

 Through the 211 call center and community service centers in Bryan, Effingham, and Liberty Counties, United Way has been connecting citizens with resources that can help them through struggles related to COVID-19. Since March 24, the organization has received more than 13,000 calls – 8 times the amount of calls from the prior month.  The greatest needs of the community primarily are housing, food, and utilities related. 

“No one knows how long this pandemic will last, nor how long the economic recovery will take. We do know that every dollar we raise through this fund is going out to support people who have lost their jobs and need help until they can work again. This is the biggest crisis we have ever seen, and Chatham County is getting hit a bit harder than others,” said United Way President and CEO Brynn Grant. “Unemployment has soared to historic levels — with 91 % of the accommodations and foodservice industry workforce laid off in our metropolitan statistical area.”

The Rapid Response Fund began collecting donations on March 24 and has raised nearly $500,000 to date. These donations have come through the WTOC Day of Giving telethon, online donations, and generous contributions from individuals and organizations including CareSource, Chatham Foundation, Colonial Group, JE Dunn Construction, Gulfstream Aerospace, The Savannah Community Foundation, South State Bank, Sterling Seacrest Partners, Truist Foundation, Wells Fargo, and Wesley Monumental United Methodist Church.

United Way of the Coastal Empire will distribute 100% of the COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund to families to retain stable housing and provide emergency funding to its partner agencies. Any funds remaining after the pandemic will be allocated to the United Way’s general emergency relief fund.  The emergency relief fund allows the organization to respond immediately to critical, emerging needs like those surrounding a hurricane or natural disaster.

United Way of the Coastal Empire sincerely thanks WTOC-TV and its dedicated team for giving their time and resources to raise this much-needed funds for our neighbors who need it most during this global crisis.  You may continue giving to United Way COVID-19 by visiting uwce.org or text UWCOVID19 to 41444.  

 For more information, visit www.uwce.org.

About United Way of the Coastal Empire

The mission of United Way of the Coastal Empire is to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities.  

United Way conducts an annual fundraising campaign and invests donor contributions in programs and services within three impact areas: Education, Financial Stability, and Health. United Way serves Bryan, Chatham, Effingham, and Liberty Counties.

United Way is a volunteer-driven organization that involves hundreds of community leaders, professionals, and other volunteers in every aspect of our business, including fundraising, marketing, and funding decisions, to ensure that donors’ donations are truly making a difference.

Thanks to the Herschel V. Jenkins Trust Fund and other income, which covers almost all administrative and fundraising costs, donor contributions go to help people in need.  

For more information, please visit uwce.org.

Local Coalition Political Rascals Slated to Speak at National Netroots Nation Conference

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Local Coalition Political Rascals Slated to Speak at National Netroots Nation Conference

The group was one out of 300 national applications selected and will be one of the main events at the three-day conference

SAVANNAH, GA: Members of the local community organizer coalition, The Political Rascals, have been invited to speak at the national Netroots Nation 2018 conference in New Orleans.

The Political Rascals Representatives

(From left to right): Coco Papy, Amanda Hollowell, Clinton Edminster (who is not going), Moncello Stewart, Molly Lieberman and Edy Gresham

Panelists and representatives include Amanda Hollowell, Moncello Stewart, Molly Lieberman, Edy Gresham and Coco Papy. Their proposal, Moving the Ball Forward in the Deep South: Why What Works in Your Town Don’t Work in Ours, was selected out of 300 proposals and will be one of the main events at the three day conference. The group will represent Savannah at the event  and help work to bring national attention to the different forms of community organizing happening on the ground, as well as how place-specific strategies are a must.

Netroots Nation is a political convention for American progressive political activists. For more than a decade, Netroots Nation has hosted the largest annual conference for progressives, drawing nearly 3,000 attendees from around the country and beyond.

The Political Rascals are now calling on the community for help and have launched a fundraiser to help offset the costs which can be found at the Send the Political Rascals Campaign here. The group is also hosting a public fundraising event, Pass the Hat for the Rascals, on Tuesday, June 26th at 6PM, featuring Laiken Love, Loop It Up painting activities and food and drink. Venue to be announced shortly.

You can donate to: paypal.me/CPapy6

Donations are not tax-deductible, a sweet surprise from #TeamPoliticalRascals is promised.

For more information or to donate to their campaign, visit the campaign fundraiser.

To attend the fundraising event Pass the Hat For Political Rascals, visit the invitation here.

American Red Cross Youth Heroes Awards Breakfast

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American Red Cross Youth Heroes Awards Breakfast

(SAVANNAH, GA) TheAmerican Red Cross of Southeast and Coastal Georgiawill host its fifth Youth Heroes Awards Breakfast at 8 a.m. on Friday, April 20, at the Coastal Georgia Center, 305 Fahm St. in downtown Savannah.

This fundraising event will recognize local students who are giving back to their communities by volunteering at school and for religious organizations, various non-profits, camps and more. It will also honor Cecilia Russo Turnerfor her volunteer work in the community, as well as her philanthropy and advocacy.

“We hold this fundraiser each year to recognize outstanding youth for their commitment to improving our communities through volunteer service and to help increase awareness of the difference a commitment to service and compassion makes in the lives of our neighbors in need,” said Esther Sheppard, the agency’s executive director. “We know their potential is boundless. Therefore, we also honor a community mentor of the year to inspire and encourage them in their work.”

Cecilia Russo Turner of Cecilia Russo Marketing

Cecilia Russo Turner of Cecilia Russo Marketing

Turner, this year’s community honoree, is CEO of Cecilia Russo Marketing. During her 23-year career, she has managed and participated in philanthropic activities that have raised millions of dollars for nonprofit charities and civic improvements in Savannah and the Lowcountry. Turner also was one of the creators of the Youth Heroes event.

“Five years ago, I could not have imagined this idea would take hold, take shape and grow to be embraced the way it has by both this organization and the community it serves,” said Turner. “Professionally, my mentor is Cliff McCurry, who was, incidentally, the first recipient of this award. He and the other recipients have mentored untold numbers of young people, and each knows the power of hard work and rising above doubt, adversity and rejection.”

In addition to McCurry, who is a managing trustee at the University of Georgia Foundation; previous honorees are Cathy Hill, who recently retired as a senior executive with Georgia Power; Celia Dunn, owner of Celia Dunn Sotheby’s International Realty; and former Savannah Mayor Edna Jackson.

Students in the sixth through twelfth grades who will be recognized are enrolled public or private schools or are home-school students in the 2017-2018 school year. They each have at least 30 recorded and verified volunteer activities addressing community needs within southeast and coastal Georgia.

The public is invited to support the Youth Heroes Breakfast and contribute to the American Red Crossthrough tax-deductible gifts that range from purchasing individual tickets or corporate-level packages to making donations to recognize the honorees.

“Contributions make a big difference in the lives of our neighbors in need when disaster affects their lives,” said Sheppard. “We hope that, like these volunteers, members of the community will answer the call to help by supporting this organization and this event.”

For additional information, to buy individual tickets or to sponsor a table, email esther.sheppard@redcross.orgor call 912-651-5349.

ABOUT THE AMERICAN RED CROSS OF SOUTHEAST AND COASTAL GEORGIA
The American Red Cross of Southeast and Coastal Georgiawas established on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 1917, and has served the community for more than one hundred years, now providing services in 17 southeast Georgia counties. Volunteers constitute 96 percent of the workforce, serving as members of the board, instructors teaching lifesaving skills, disaster action team members, office administrators and event organizers. For more information, visit www.redcross.org/southeastgeorgiaor call 912-651-5300or 800-733-6767.

ABOUT CECILIA RUSSO TURNER
Cecilia Russo, of Cecilia Russo Marketing, LLC,is a marketing professional with a proven record among Savannah’s top-tier non-profit and for-profit organizations, businesses and corporations in the areas of fund development, marketing, public relations and event planning. As a native Savannahian, Cecilia’s knowledge and experience give her unique insights into channeling the efforts of volunteers and constituents into effective, mission-driven public relations activities that translate into measurable results. She was voted one of Savannah’s “40 Business Leaders Under 40” by the Savannah Business Report and Journal in 2005. For more information, visit online at https://ceciliarussomarketing.wordpress.com or call 912-665-0005.

MEDIA INQUIRIES
Cecilia Russo Turner
Cecilia Russo Marketing
912-665-0005
info@crussomarketing.com

The Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Coastal Empire Fifth Annual Wine Women & Shoes Fundraiser

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The Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Coastal Empire Announces Fifth Annual Wine Women & Shoes Fundraiser Set for May 3

(SAVANNAH, GA) The Fifth Annual Wine Women & Shoes fundraiser will be held on Thursday, May 3 at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Savannah, located at 2 W Bay St. This major fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Coastal Empire benefits families of seriously ill and injured children.

“Last year we raised more than $150 thousand and we have worked hard to help make this year’s fundraiser supporting the Ronald McDonald House our best ever,” said Bill Sorochak, executive director. “We are expecting a sell-out crowd of more than 600 guests for a fabulous evening of sip-sational wines, fabulous shopping, charming ‘Shoe Guys’ and savory foods.”

Kicking off at 6:00 p.m., VIP ticket holders will be allowed early access to the Hyatt’s Harborside Room (the glass room on River Street) to peruse items for sale and get first dibs on the coveted Keys-to-the-Closet and Key-to-the-Cellar raffles. Then, at 7:00 p.m., the doors will open for everyone else to join the festivities.

“We say that this event can change your shoes but its real mission is to change lives,” Sorochak added. “One hundred percent of the funds raised in the Coastal Empire stays here to help our residents cope with the stress and expense of daily living while trying to be close and emotionally strong for their child. In 2017, we provided 4,270 family night stays at the Ronald McDonald House. An event like this can provide 1,600 of those family-night stays.”

Sorochak projects proceeds from this year’s Wine Women & Shoes may top previous years due, in part, to the continued support from local McDonald’s restaurant owners and operators as well as the dedication of partners since the event’s inception – Ameris Bank, Dr. Corinne Howington of Low Country Dermatology and Cecilia Russo Marketing.

2018 Ronald McDonald House of the Coastal Empire Wine Women and Shoes FlyerTickets are now on sale and sponsor opportunities are also available. For tickets or more information, contact Bill Sorochak at bill@rmhccoastalempire.org or visit http://www.winewomenandshoes.com/savannah.

MORE ABOUT WINE WOMEN & SHOES
Wine Women & Shoes is the brainchild of Napa Valley vintner, Elaine Honig. While chatting with a girlfriend about the growing popularity of wine and food pairing events, they jokingly said, “Wine and shoe pairings would be a lot more fun!” And they were right. WW&S events are now in 50 cities across the country, and they have raised more than $22,000,000 for women and children’s causes. Wine Women & Shoes fundraisers create an opportunity for partnerships between charities, wineries, shoe and accessory retailers, corporate sponsors and women in the community. In addition to raising money, these events raise awareness for charities, increase sales for wineries and retail partners, and provide community outreach for corporate sponsors. For more information, visit http://www.winewomenandshoes.com/savannah

MORE ABOUT RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE CHARITIES OF THE COASTAL EMPIRE
The mission of Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Coastal Empire is to create, find and support programs that directly enhance the health and well-being of children and families. The Savannah Ronald McDonald House has thirteen bedrooms and operates on a waiting list most of the year. The House provides a “home away from home” for families who live more than thirty miles away and who have a critically ill or injured child receiving treatment at Memorial Children’s Hospital, Candler Hospital, or where needed in the Coastal Empire.

MEDIA CONTACT
Cecilia Russo
Cecilia Russo Marketing
info@crussomarketing.com
912-665-0005

Faith Equestrian To Hold 2018 Gala to Support Equine Therapy for Children on Feb. 9

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Faith Equestrian To Hold 2018 Gala to Support Equine Therapy for Children on Feb. 9

(SAVANNAH, GA) Faith Equestrian Therapeutic Center will hold their second annual Hearts for Healing Gala on Friday, Feb. 9, at the Tybee Island Wedding Chapel. The evening will include dinner, dancing and live music from the John Brackett Quartet. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the silent auction; the reception will begin at 7 p.m.

Faith Equestrian is a non-profit organization founded to improve the quality of life for children with special needs through the therapeutic nature of horses.

Gala Logo

2018 Hearts for Healing Gala

“Fundraisers and donations cover all the costs for a child to participate in our program,” said Bonnie Rachael, the program’s founder and executive director. “The Gala is our largest fundraiser and a great way for us to create awareness for our unique program.”

Rachael opened the center in 2006 with only two students, three horses and a $25,000 budget. Today, the program has expanded to serve more than 125 participants from Chatham, Effingham and surrounding counties. It has a $200,000 budget, eleven horses, two instructors and more than 60 volunteers.

The center is accredited by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH, Intl.), which reports some of the benefits of equine assisted activities and therapies on their website (www.pathintl.org).

Faith Equestrian serves children with all types of challenges, including autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, learning disabilities and behavioral disorders. Interaction with the horses allows the students to build strength, develop coordination skills, and gain confidence in an outdoor and supportive setting.

Michael, an autistic child whose real name is being withheld to protect the privacy of he and his family, began taking therapeutic riding lessons at Faith Equestrian in 2011 in an effort to improve his attention span, his ability to follow directions, keep calm in new situations, as well as to become able to speak.

Part of Michael’s lesson each week was to encourage speech as part of the therapeutic plan along with following directions of steering the horse. The instructor repeated phrases telling Michael to tell his horse to “walk on” and increased the speed of the horse from a walk to a trot.

“It took 8 months, patience and a horse, for Michael to begin to speak,” said Rachael. “During the normal routine of his riding lesson, he said ‘WALK ON’ himself in a loud voice. Everyone, volunteers and mom alike broke into tears of joy.”

Since that day, Michael has improved cognitively, behaviorally, and physically. He has begun using sign language he has learned, is now beginning to steer his horse and follow the instructor’s directions.

“These are the types of stories that help us know we are changing people’s lives,” said Rachael. “And we need the community to support this powerful program.”

Tickets for the Gala are $150 and may be purchased at http://www.faithetc.org/hearts-for-healing-gala/.

The 2018 Hearts for Healing Gala is sponsored by Savannah Special Events by Ranco, First City Events, Low Country Paper Co., Whitemarsh Beverage, J Thomas Catering, Savannah’s Hall of Cakes, South Magazine and Tybee Island Wedding Chapel. Sponsorship opportunities are still available.

For more information on sponsoring the gala or any aspect of the equestrian program, call 912.728.3728 or visit https://faithetc.org

ABOUT FAITH EQUESTRIAN THERAPEUTIC CENTER
Faith Equestrian Therapeutic Center, located at 243 Appaloosa Way in Guyton, GA. 31312, exists to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities through the power of the horse. The program serves children ages 4 to 18 with all types of challenges including autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, learning disabilities and behavioral disorders. The center offers therapeutic riding courses and an equestrian program in partnership with local schools. For more information, visit https://faithetc.org

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Wright
Carriage Trade Public Relations®
cynthia.wright@carriagetradepr.com
912.856.9075